Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2016
A jewel in the Mediterranean, Sardinia is a rustic and enchantingly beautiful island with extreme geography and vinous diversity to tempt travelers and wine enthusiasts alike. Mr. Sella and Mr. Mosca fell in love with this land over a century ago and established Sella & Mosca, one of Italy's most renowned wine estates.
As Sardinia's foremost wine producer, Sella & Mosca’s premium wines are made exclusively from estate-grown grapes. In addition to native varieties such as Vermentino, Torbato and Cannonau, the winery has successfully pioneered the introduction of international grape varieties, notably Cabernet Sauvignon.
Hailed for centuries as a Mediterranean vine-growing paradise, multiple cultures over many centuries have ruled the large island of Sardinia. Set in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Phonoecians, Ancient Rome, and subsequently the Byzantines, Arabs and Catalans have all staked a claim on the island at some point in history. Along the way, these inhabitants transported many of their homeland’s prized vines and today Sardinia’s modern-day indigenous grape varieties claim multiple origins. Sardinia’s most important red grapes—namely Cannonau (a synonym for Grenache) and Carignan—are actually of Spanish origin.
Vermentino, a prolific Mediterranean variety, is the island’s star white. Vermentino has a stronghold the Languedoc region of France as well as Italy’s western and coastal regions, namely Liguria (where it is called Pigato), Piedmont (where it is called Favorita) and in Tuscany, where it goes by the name, Vermentino. The best Vermentino, in arguably all of the Mediterranean, grows in Sardinia's northeastern region of Gallura where its vines struggle to dig roots deep down into north-facing slopes of granitic soils. These Vermentino vines produce highly aromatic, full and concentrated whites of unparalleled balance.
Today aside from its dedication to viticulture, Sardinia remains committed to maintaining its natural farmlands, bucolic plains of grazing sheep and perhaps most of all, its sandy, sunny, Mediterranean beaches.
Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache plays an important role in the blends of Spain's Priorat and in the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.
Tasting Notes for Grenache
Grenache is a dry, red wine that is typically full-bodied and interestingly light in both color and tannins. Grenache produces wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.
Perfect Food Pairings for Grenache
Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.
Sommelier Secrets for Grenache
Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet and low stress lifestyle.